Well hello there ambitious people, once again I find myself catching up on my personal blog on a Monday, and it really is a good time for a review. The first month of the new year is over, time to revisit those goals and ideals and see where it has all led to. And to take a deep breath, remember that everything coming up next is possible. Like many others, I have that dooming sense of panic when I glance at my to-do list and the scribbled notes that add up in a busy week. It’s important to put in days like today. Officially I’m not working at all, but of course that’s kind of out of the window within minutes. I want to spend my day focusing on “wedmin” and find I have to force myself to do this. It’s hard to think “table decorations” and “Pinterest” when you constantly worry that your income depends on how good a marketing campaign you can come up with for your latest endeavour.
So there. Time to look at how them goals went.
Not Working More than 5 Hours a Day
This was a late addition to the resolutions, added during the peaceful relaxation I felt in my winter holiday. I was able to pull this off without suffering productivity letdowns for the earlier part of January, but as the month end and the deadlines came closer I was unable to stick to my limits. Lesson learnt: Self-control breeds productivity, and 5 hours a day is more than enough but only when you do focus.
Language Book Club
After “March to a Bestseller”, an online event run by and from independent authors, made a big impression on me last year I was keen to try out running a language-focused version. I went with my plan, roped in a language podcasting colleague to co-organise and actually pulled this off last week. Language Book Club was an 11 hour Facebook marathon, intense and at the same time wonderful for all the content we created in a short period of time. My core goal was book promotion for my slightly fledgling second book The Vocab Cookbook, which I gave away for free on the day very successfully. With 255 free copies claimed, I want to generate more reviews during February and show Amazon that the book really is very good. Lesson learnt: Bigger projects are better done with others, video chat is exhausting and events like this one are what makes you stand out from others. Oh, and this stuff is more work than you think.
Ending my First Online Course
My first online course for independent online teachers wanting to build their brands was very successful. I gathered lots of positive feedback and reassurance that both the concept and the content are worth a lot to people. 6 graduates, and hopefully more to come. Main lesson learnt: When running an online course, build in live elements for extra value (the live calls were awesome) and allow “reading weeks” to allow everyone to catch up with the content.
Running the next Online Course, Milestone 1
Really this should be right at the top, it’s the next goal going forward anyway. In January, I wanted to complete all Case Studies, the Sales Page and the Full Concept for my second run of the online course. I achieved most of this by creating the copy and info page for Savvy Brand Academy, a course I am super proud to promote. The case studies are a little slow (because the course finished 3 days late?) and I am experimenting with different versions of them, i.e. video interviews, email interviews and a survey. I’m excited to be featuring my successful participants in the marketing for my next course and to have their support. Main lesson learnt: DO NOT put a major goal milestone deadline into the same week as a big event like Language Book Club.
My big goal is to sign up at least 15 participants to Savvy Brand Academy in February.
I was glad that I ran a smaller pilot group for this course in the first instance and now that it’s legit, it’s time to kick things up a notch. The registration period is officially open right now but I’m behind with my marketing and really do need to spread the word a little more here, so February will be focused on helpful guest posts, interviews, challenges and other things I can run to help people for free and tempt them with my course.
The launch period starts on 9 February and will run until the end of the month, and feature a bunch of promotional events. I’m speaking locally and running a few workshops, and will also contact more people on a 1-to-1 basis to see whether they are ready to get involved. The hardest thing here is to reach the right people. I have been asked if the course is for online teachers only, and in spirit I want to say “no, it’s not”. It’s for people who believe in their own brand, their independent spirit. People who are sick of working for others and want to start running their own show. I want to have artists and coaches in this course, but the key really is to hit those people who want to understand the concept behind marketing and brand building. It’s not about what you do, it’s about what you want to learn. This is my big challenge, to communicate it right.
Phew, and now to go hunt for a wedding dress appropriate bra…